SPL Worldgroup Overview

SPL Worldgroup is a software vendor with a dozen offices around the world. It wanted a portal to make information more visible to employees across offices. SPL's Enterprise Applications group selected Plumtree as its portal framework, but it needed to convince senior management to support its vision.

I was selected by SPL as its Plumtree specialist and lead developer for the project. I was brought in at the end of September 2002 to put a demonstration portal together in a two week timeframe. The demo was populated with the gadgets, publications, and communities envisioned for the production environment. Senior management was excited by what it saw.

SPL then gave me two months as lead developer to create a pilot portal to rollout to offices in the US and Australia. Again, the company was excited by the results, and it rolled out the portal to additional offices ahead of schedule. In the subsequent months I continued to assist in decisions about the system and to meet more business needs through portal development. My accomplishments included the following:

  • Created a gadget building system allowing non-technical community managers to create gadgets with highly customized appearance, links, and behaviors. Documented system and trained users in its use.
  • Created a news publishing and archiving system for non-technical users.
  • Modify Plumtree's Lotus Notes integration to allow access through Plumtree's document security model to Notes content from servers otherwise inaccessible to users.
  • Initiated redesign of SPL's Plumtree server configuration to improve reliability and make better use of Equalizer load balancer.
  • Led the design of a system to allow previously unrelated IT systems to access user information from each other.
  • Integrated Siebel CRM system information into portal, accessing Siebel's own security through the gadget to identify what information the gadget should display on a user by user basis.
  • Selected and customized an open source helpdesk system to meet SPL business needs and integrate with Plumtree's user database. SPL had asked me to build a system from scratch, but I recommended this, thereby saving weeks of development time.
  • Created administration tools to audit security and configuration of portal objects such as gadgets, crawlers, and folders.
  • Trained a second developer to build Plumtree gadgets.

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